Picture this, you are driving along on the road in your vehicle of choice, the sun is shining, the weather is nice and mild, you’re focused, alert, and then you hear a loud thunk followed by the vehicle jerking up and down. What was that? Some people might panic and think they just ran over a poor animal, when it was actually just a large hole in the ground, a pothole. Potholes, though seemingly everywhere, can cause driver panic and a lot of damage.
What can be done?
The Pothole Problem
How Potholes Form
When driving, you may notice that there are many cracks in the road’s surface. These spots are ideal breeding grounds for potholes. A pothole is basically a hole in the ground caused by time and weather. In areas where it snows, the snow, or water, will settle in the cracks in the road, and create ice which expands as the water freezes, causing a pothole to form. In areas where it rains but doesn’t snow, the rain will settle in the cracks and will loosen away the sides.
The Pothole Problem
Some problems that potholes can cause are tire wear, undercar damage, and may even cause crashes. When driving over a pothole, no matter the size, your wheels and sometimes your undercarriage can be seriously damaged. Tire blisters, denting of the wheel rims or parts of the undercarriage, and even difficulty steering can indicate damage done by potholes. These problems can increase the risk of a crash, and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
As dangerous as they are, potholes can be easily fixed. Normally what is required is a citizen calls the local government and informs them of a pothole. In turn, they will contact an expert asphalt repair company to go and repair the road. What these experts do is clear the pothole area of debris and loose rocks, and then fill it in with fresh asphalt. Alerting the local authorities of a pothole may seem trivial, but everyone can benefit from the filling of a road cavity.
Minimize the risk
Avoiding potholes can be fairly easy, or extremely difficult. If able, go around the pothole by driving a little closer to one side of the lane, or aim the vehicle so that the pothole goes under the middle of the car. If you are unable to avoid that pit in the ground, slow down, but do not stop while in the pothole as this can cause more damage to your vehicle. If you must run over the pothole, firmly hold the steering wheel; this prevents the car from jerking to one side or the other.